Thursday, October 4, 2012

Solomon Kane Review

I've been waiting for Solomon Kane to come to the 'States for awhile now; it was done and distributed internationally way back in 2009.  It would've been pretty disappointing if it were terrible, considering the three-year wait.  Luckily, Kane is incredibly enjoyable and very entertaining, but isn't without some pretty big flaws.

Kane's story is one we've all seen before; a sinning killer eventually gives up his evil ways and attempts to take a holy and righteous path to redemption.  The difference with Kane is the time period; rather than being set during the Middle Ages (a la Kingdom of Heaven, Black Death, or Season of the Witch), this film is set in 16th century England, with Kane having served as a solider of the King during wars against Spain.  It is in a Spanish castle, searching for treasure, where Kane encounters an envoy of the Devil himself.  His soul is destined for Hell but he isn't quite yet ready to descend.  This event sets him on his holy path to avoid killing and to attempt to redeem his soul.

The beginning of the film is pretty weak, some with horrendous visual effects on display (granted, these were circa 2008), and janky storytelling.  The finale of the film is exactly the same; a CG boss-fight that is pretty bad and very video-gaming reminiscent.  What is worth the price of admission is the fantastic middle section.  Kane befriends a Puritan family who meet a not-so-nice ending, forcing Kane to pick up a sword again, this time fighting for honor and vengeance against the minions of the Devil.  I don't want to spoil much, but there are some great twists (that may be seen from a mile away) that make this already-fantastic narrative that much better.  There are some well-choreographed fight sequences that rival bigger-budgeted films of this nature.

The performances are pretty solid, with James Purefoy putting in a convincing turn as Kane himself.  There is one scene in particular, that may end up as one of my favorite of the year, that involves crucifixion that has Purefoy acting his guts out.  Max von Sydow and Pete Postlethwait have small but memorable roles, as Kane's father and William Crowthorn (of the Puritan family) respectively.

There isn't much more for me to say about Solomon Kane.  If you would cut away the slow beginning and the cringe-worthy finale you would be left with a simply fantastic film.  As an overall package, Kane is still incredibly enjoyable and is recommended to anyone who enjoys supernatural or Crusader-era good vs. evil films.

Solomon Kane is an enjoyable yet flawed supernatural action film.

The Bearded Bullet

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